RE: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #157

Hi all!

I'm a newbie, have had my 29g tank for the past 11 months and at first 
everything was okay.  I started the tank, introduced the fishes with not 
problems, even got a bigger tank (the previous one was a 20g).

Since the previous tank I've been fighting ich, with some success, but a 
month ago, things got out of control:  green algae everywhere, couple fishes 
(given to me, don't know what they are: orange-like dark dots on dorsal, 2 
long whiskers coming from bottom, long fins starting mid of belly all the 
way near tale) start to swallow (learned latter it can be dropsy!), three 
others had one eye patched (red-tale shark, another long fin silver /black 
one, not beta, and a cory) with a white stuff, other 2 had cracks on their 
skin (the orange-like described above), besides the smaller ones (neon 
tetras) started dyeing.

So, I decided to do a 50% water change, took all the artificial plants out 
 (there was no natural one), introduced three natural ones to start, a new 
and bigger airstone, a pleco to take care of the algae (did a great job in a 
week!) and bio-zyme to jump start the bio-filter.  For the next three weeks 
everything went great, even the plants were growing very healthy, the water 
was great too, pH at 6.5, no nitrite, no ammonia.  Then the orange-like fish 
was again starting to have a cloudy eye, same with the big-fin one.  I 
checked nitrite and it was way high, 3.5!!  The red-tale shark was again 
with Ich, I think, whole body with white sugar dots.  So I changed 50% of 
the water again, this time with tap water (usually I use Polland spring), 
checked the pH, treated for chlorine, and start another Ich treatment.  Two 
mistakes I think I committed: 1) the water was colder than the one on the 
tank (tank at 79-80F and water at 73-74F) and 2) by taking the filter off so 
the medication could circulate, right after 50% water change, after had 
changed 50% a week ago, I don't know if I had enough bacteria to work with 
the nitrite.

The reason I say this is that right after the water change, the fishes' fins 
looked like they were melting!  Also, next day, nitrite was still 2.5, and 
every single fish started dying.  Out of 20 I ended up with 5! In last then 
24 hours!  I felt, still feel awful.  I guess I just did a holocaust!!

Well, the bigger fishes survived, but the white stuff in their eyes is still 
there.  Yesterday I purchased a full spectrum lamp, took the dead plants 
out, siphon again the grabble (should I siphon the red stuff under the 
grabble?) changed 1/3 of the water, added bio-zyme, new filter,  added 8 
neon tetras and 5 bleeding-hearts, to crank the tank again.  Check the pH 
(6.5) and added a pH stabilizer, checked ammonia (0), checked nitrite (was 
2.5, but today in the morning it was down to 1.5 and I believe it's coming 
down).  I added again a medication for the suspected fungus and Ich, called 
clout.  Came to work optimist.  Went back 6 hours later and my pleco was 
dead!  # hours later, last night, 4 neons dead.  Today in the morning, all 
remain neons were dead as well as all 5 bleeding hearts!!!

Don't know what to do>  I guess, on trying to kill the ich I poised the 
fishes with so much stuff.  Should I take all of them out and just start the 
tank all over again?

Please help, me and the kids are with all hearts broken, specially me as I 
feel responsible for this disaster!


goncalves at process_com